Praising Claudio Ranieri And Leicester City


I could rewrite history and say that I always believed that Claudio Ranieri would be a success at Leicester City and could guide them to safety this season. That’s one bonus of having your own blog.

But that would be a lie and actually devalue this blog. After all I am not the tabloid press!

I, like many others, openly mocked the Ranieri appointment. I just thought it was an ill-fit and the Italian would return to his tinkering ways that we all saw at Chelsea and at Valencia. He was always a nearly man. His last managerial stint before his return to English football was a disastrous spell with the Greek national team.

Last season Nigel Pearson worked wonders in keeping the Foxes in the English Premier League with a great last few months. I thought his removal would work against Leicester.

Another key man in Esteban Cambiasso left the club in the summer. The veteran Argentine midfielder was a leader on the park and lead by example. But unfortunately he couldn’t be convinced to stay on for this term.

So all in all I thought it would be a bleak season for the Foxes and I predicting that they’d end up finishing in the relegation zone come May.

Well I couldn’t have been more wrong and I am delighted to say that.

Ranieri has come in and showed belief in his current crop of players. They have responded by going from strength to strength. They haven’t lost in their last six domestic league games and they’ve won five of those.

Now the Foxes lead the pack in the Premier League after thirteen games. They’ve gathered fourteen points more than last seasons champions Chelsea!

The players have responded to Ranieri’s trusting nature and his positive attitude. He’s managed to make them an exciting team to watch that consistently pick up points.

No team in England’s top flight has scored more than Leicester’s twenty-eight goals.

Twenty-eight year old forward Jamie Vardy has been in sensational form so far in this campaign. Against Newcastle United in the past weekend Vardy scored in his tenth league game in a row, equalling Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record. He’s scored thirteen in thirteen games this season, that makes up 46% of his teams goals in the league.

The striker is a bit of a throwback to a different generation where players work their way up the leagues and peak in their late twenties. His form has merited a call-up for the English national team and he now looks to be a good bet to get a spot in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad next summer.

Vardy links up well with those around him, he’s also a hard worker and willing runner who can receive the ball in the channels. He’ll also work back and can hold onto the ball when he need’s too.

Jamie has been helped by creative winger Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian has also been in sensational form and can change games with his electric pace, clever feet and his pinpoint passes.

Mahrez has scored seven times and importantly has created six assists (Only Mesut Ozil has created more).

Both of these players have now been linked with big money moves away this January but I doubt Ranieri will sanction a sale at that time unless its absolutely crazy money.

N’golo Kante arrived this summer in a £5.6m deal from Caen without much fanfare. But the twenty-four year old Frenchman has seamlessly fitted in at the King Power Stadium and has done a lot in filling the gap left by Cambiasso. Kante is a determined character, who will hunt down the ball all game given half the chance. His performances have been fantastic and he’s helped give the Foxes a strong engine room.

According to Kante there is even more to come:

“I realise I still have a long way to go and there is plenty of room for improvement to become a Premier League player.”

Obviously those three have done well and deserve all the plaudits that they are getting at the moment. But the whole club and even the fans deserve the credit.

Getting to the summit of the Premier League is a job for a strong squad, not just because of a few outstanding stars!

You also have to look at the work the coaches have done along with the manager to help keep this momentum going. Plus kudos for the board for hiring Ranieri and supporting him with funds.

Also a huge well done to the scouting team at Leicester City. They’ve managed to pick out some real gems and it’s all coming together now.

This Saturday they welcome second placed Manchester United. It will be a huge game for the East Midland’s club but they wanted be daunted by the task and will give it there all against the mighty Red Devils. That seems to be the Leicester City way under Claudio Ranieri.

But they need to be wary of being to gung-ho, that was their undoing when Arsenal came to town and beat them 5-2 in September.

Whatever happens on Saturday, it won’t make or break Leicester City’s season.

Do I think the Foxes will win the Premier League title or even finish in the lucrative ‘Top Four’?

No I don’t but maybe the Leicester City supporters and players will be happy to hear that because they’ve done well in proving me wrong so far this season!

Celtic’s Board Forget Where The Club Came From!

Celtic Park

Today Celtic held their AGM and it wasn’t very amicable as the clubs board seemed to ignore valid pleas from the fans/shareholders.

I admire a passionate bunch of Celtic fans who’ll always make these meetings uneasy for the board as they demand that Celtic are run in a more socially ethical way.

For years, supporters have demanded that the club become a living wage employer.

But yet again Celtic’s board decided to ignore the calls and keep with their minimum wage policy of £7.95 instead of introducing the living wage of £8.25.

It has been mentioned that if Celtic were to introduce the living wage then it could cost the club an extra £2k a week.

For a club the size of Celtic that isn’t a hard target to meet (if that £2k figure is true).

They could raise the price of season tickets by around £3 and that would cover the yearly cost of the rise.

But why should the fans pay the price? They already fork out enough in my opinion.

Last year Chief Executive Peter Lawwell received a £400k bonus on top of his £500k a year wage. That £400k bonus could cover the wage rise of the club’s poorest employees for at least three and a half years. Why he receives such a huge bonus when the club hasn’t moved on in the last few years is beyond me.

You could also find that extra £2k a week if you cut the player budget.

Celtic just signed up Carlton Cole. The former Premier League striker can’t play in Europe at the moment and it’s doubtful Celtic will still be in the Europa League beyond Christmas. They don’t really need Cole to win the Scottish Premiership, so maybe they could have been better served not signing him.

It increasingly looks like Scott Allan was only signed to get one over on Rangers. That seems particularly reckless considering the Blue half of Glasgow aren’t direct rivals at the moment and probably won’t be in the near future.

Then you look at a player like Derk Boerrigter. The pretty Dutchman is paid handsomely to sit on the treatment table and not play due to persistent injuries. I’d argue that those paid £7.95 an hour deserve their wage a lot more than Boerrigter and yet they seem unimportant to the head honchos that run the club.

You then get to the situation that Celtic have a Tory peer in Lord Livingston on their board. The same Lord Livingston voted for a cut in tax credits earlier this year.

In his defence of Livingston, Celtic chairman Ian Bankier stated:

“Our fans come from every quarter of society and share the common bond of supporting the team.”

While this is true and no one is suggesting that Lord Livingston stop supporting the club, his political stance flies in the face of the clubs ethos in which they were formed in 1888.

Celtic were an institution that was embracing of all of society and made serious efforts to help the poor and those that needed their help the most. The funds raised by the club and its founding father Brother Walfrid directly helped the poorest and those deprived in Glasgow’s east end.

Could you see Brother Walfrid sharing a room or a chat with Lord Livingston after that tax credit vote? I doubt it! (Obviously that’s just my opinion).

A special mention should be made regarding the Celtic Foundation as they do follow the values and foundations in which the club was built on.

Now when their is a huge vocal part of your fanbase calling for someones head, then it makes total business sense to rid yourself of the problem. They’d easily sack a manager if he came in for the same amount of criticism. Yet it looks like Lord Livingston will be voted to remain on the board.

That’s the problem here, Celtic’s board don’t really care about the supporters as long as they keep buying enough tickets and merchandise to help promote the bonuses in which the club’s highest earning personnel decide that they have ‘earned’!

Those two particular changes that a vast amount of fans have asked for wouldn’t cost Celtic a huge amount of money but it’s an old ‘Bhoys’ act that runs this club and they only seem to look after their own!

Betting The Ballon d’Or: Who Is The Greatest Player Of 2015?



Few honors in sports carry the international clout as the Ballon d’or – which recognizes the top soccer player in the world. This award has been dominated by two men in recent years: Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi won four Ballon d’or trophies (2009-2012) and Ronaldo has swept the past two years with a Player of the Year honor also coming in 2008.

Will 2015 be any different? The award isn’t handed out until January, so there is plenty of time for an underdog to push their way into the conversation. Here’s a look at the front runners – and their odds – to win the 2015 Ballon d’or before you make any sports betting picks:

Lionel Messi (1/6): 

The price is high on Messi, who despite missing most of the club season with a torn MCL did enough work before the injury to garner the favorite spot. He opened 2015 with a turnaround in La Liga, teaming with Luis Suárez and Neymar in a star-studded attack to carry Barcelona to the league title. He followed that with a Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League title, making Barca the first European team in history to win the treble twice. He finished with 58 goals in 2014-15 and had six in nine games before the knee injury.

Cristiano Ronaldo (5/1):

At this price and with Messi missing a good part of the 2015 campaign, Ronaldo could be the most live underdog on the planet. The Real Madrid superstar has some notable records on his resume this year, including his 500th goal for club and country as well as becoming the all-time leading scorer in Champions League play, pushing ahead of Messi with 80 goals to his rival’s 77. Ronaldo has eight goals in 11 apps for Real Madrid this season, and has them second behind Barcelona in the table.

Robert Lewandowski (14/1):

It would only make sense that the one player being compared the Messi and Ronaldo the most is the third overall favorite on the Ballon d’or list. The Bayern Munich star helped lead the club to another Bundesliga title at the beginning of 2015 and has exploded for 14 goals in just 11 apps so far in the 2015-16 campaign – giving him a total of 31 goals in his 42 games since coming over from Borussia Dortmund. However, inner turmoil with fellow Bayern star Arjen Robben has prompted plenty of transfer rumors, including a move to Real Madrid to team with Ronaldo

Spurs Man Dele Alli Could Be England’s Next Euro Star!


You can get moments in a football match when everything else goes out the window for just a second. After the tragedies in Paris last Friday night, football needed a magic moment to show that it’s business as usual for the world’s greatest game!

It was fitting that last night’s friendly at Wembley had a moment that showed it can still create some joy even in the darkest of times.

The fact that the whole stadium respected the French national anthem and even the home support tried to belt out ‘La Marseillaise‘ was a great gesture and showed solidarity within the game.

But the goal from England youngster Dele Alli was hugely significant in my opinion. It showed that we carry on and enjoy the game as best we can. Last night was never going to be about the result but we may have glimpsed at a new Three Lions hero!

I’ve been extremely impressed with Alli this season.

I remember watching MK Dons boss Karl Robinson talking about him last year. He was buzzing about this talent and stated he was virtually ready to step up and shine in England’s top flight and break into Roy Hodgson’s England set-up.

Now many a manager in the lower leagues has come out with similar statements to inflate the value of their players, but there was something about Robinson that day that suggested he wasn’t talking bull and he truly meant what he was saying.

From that moment on, I kept and eye out for MK Dons and especially watched out for their teen sensation.

The midfielder looked like a man playing with boys at times in League One. He also seemed very assured and composed when he had the ball. Those are key qualities for any youngster to possess at that early age in their development. At that level he was bullying opposition midfields and was also scoring for fun.

Then it was announced that during the final day of the winter transfer window that Tottenham Hotspur had completed a deal to bring the young lower league star to White Hart Lane. The original deal saw Alli stay with MK Dons on loan for the rest of the season, where he helped them secure promotion to the Championship. He also secured the Football League young player of the year award.

A lot of eyes where on the nineteen year old at the start of this campaign. How long would he have to wait for his chance? Was he ready for the Premier League?

Well he answered those questions straight away. He’s only missed one league game this season and has started in eight of them! In those thirteen games he’s impressed and has managed two goals.

The nineteen year old is full of energy and he likes a tackle. He’s also got a keen eye for breaking up play with vital interceptions and that helps his side build up more attacks.

He was particularly strong against Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City, showing he has no time for reputations, its’s all about playing his own game and getting results in a Spurs jersey.

Obviously there is still room for improvement but that will come with age and more top flight experience.

The fact is that Dele is at a perfect club that will help his development and allow him exposure to show off his skills. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has a fine history of giving youth a chance and getting the best out of them.

His strong and bright start for Tottenham this season, didn’t go unnoticed with England boss Hodgson who picked him in his last Euro 2016 qualifiers in October. He obviously did enough to convince the England management team to take him seriously and play him from the start against the French.

He once again repaid the faith shown in his ability. He was the man of the match against Les Bleus and his goal showed him at his best.

Alli won the ball in the engine room with a thunderous tackle. He would get the ball back off Wayne Rooney, before hitting a screamer past his club colleague Hugo Lloris. 

A new international superstar may have just been born last night at Wembley.

Roy Hodgson said this about Alli’s impact after the game:

“It was as close to a faultless performance as you can get,”

Many speculated on who might step up and takeover the dynamic midfield role, that’s been vacant since Steven Gerrard retired from international football after last years World Cup. Not many would have been looking at England’s third tier for the answer.

But Dele Alli has shown that he has all the attributes to stake a claim to make the plane for next summers Euros and I wouldn’t bet against him going to France and bossing a few games and coming back a big star for his country!

My Interview With Betting Runner


I recently did an interview with Betting Runner, discussing my life as a blogger and more.

Feel free to take a look HERE.

Four Crucial Premier League Fixtures Before Festive Period

EPL Title

With the international break ongoing, now is an ideal time to take a look at the Premier League campaign thus far. There have been several surprises already this season – most notably from teams who play their home games in blue – Leicester City and Chelsea. Who would have envisaged that former Stamford Bridge boss, Claudio Ranieri having his new charges in such a lofty position in early November, while the current Premier League champions – and pre-season title favourites Chelsea – are languishing inside the bottom six!

It is a well-used cliché, but there are no easy games for any team in the top flight of English football, and with around six weeks until Father Christmas arrives, here we will look at four games that could have major implications on title aspirations, easing relegation fears, hopes for European places or even avoiding the managerial axe over the coming months.

Chelsea vs. Norwich, Saturday 21st November, 15:00 GMT kick-off.

Make no mistake, this is a vital game for Chelsea – and in particular, boss Jose Mourinho. After seven defeats in just 12 league outings this season, the Portuguese manager has to be under severe pressure from the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to return his team back towards the upper echelons of the Premier League. An indication of Chelsea’s slump is that new-boys, Norwich City are currently sat one place and one point above the Blues in the league standings. With respect to Alex Neill and his team though, this is a game that Chelsea should win – and with something to spare. However, if the Canaries manage to get anything from Stamford Bridge this Saturday, then the knives will surely be sharpened further for Mourinho’s axing.

Leicester City vs. Manchester United, Saturday 28th November, 17:30 GMT kick-off.

Last season’s fixture between the two teams at the King Power Stadium saw eight goals, and quite frankly, one of the most bizarre games in Premier League history. United led 3-1 with around thirty minutes left, but the Foxes stormed back with four goals and along with United defender Tyler Blackett’s dismissal they achieved an amazing comeback. During that campaign, Leicester spent time at foot of the Premier League table, but this season has seen new manager Claudio Ranieri transform his team from strugglers, to European place contenders at least. United’s arrival will be a stern test though, and this game will help to give a solid bearing on Leicester’s hopes for the months ahead. Louis van Gaal’s team must keep Premier League top-scorer Jamie Vardy in check if they are to prevail in this fixture.

Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa, Saturday 19th December, 17:30 GMT kick-off.

Whilst there are still four games and 12 points to play for before these two sleeping giants of English football take the pitch, this game can be classified as a relegation battle with both teams currently sitting inside the bottom four. Newcastle are in the slightly better position of being fourth bottom, and can take comfort from their most recent 1-0 win at Bournemouth. Aston Villa recently sacked Tim Sherwood, and replaced him with Frenchman Remi Garde who oversaw his new team battle for a 0-0 draw against league leaders Manchester City. This fixture is likely to be very important for both teams, and whoever comes out on top will give their fans some extra cheer before the festive period.

Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Monday 21st December, 20:00 GMT kick-off.

The final game of the Premier League campaign before Santa shows up sees a title clash between two heavyweights at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal and City are currently locked on 26 points after their opening 12 games, and it is likely that this fixture will be as tight as the league table suggests. Both teams are beset with injuries at present – most notably Arsenal – who are missing the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bellerin, while City are missing their goal scoring talisman, Sergio Aguero. Hopefully most of these players will be available for this fixture to give fans and viewers alike a feast of football until the Premier League returns on Boxing Day.

Man United Need To Step Up Chase For Wingers Mahrez Or Mane!

Man United

Louis van Gaal will be happy that he has transformed Manchester United back into Premier League title contenders within his second season at Old Trafford.

But the veteran Dutch manager knows only too well that his squad are still missing a few key ingredients that can help sustain that challenge until the season ends in May.

One big problem has been finding that electric winger who can terrorise opposing full-backs with their lightening pace.

Angel Di Maria failed to settle with the Red Devils, he didn’t buy into Van Gaal’s philosophy and was gone after a season. One time United prodigy Adnan Januzaj has been loaned out to Borussia Dortmund after he too was found wanting by disciplinarian Van Gaal.

New big money signing Memphis Depay has the potential but at the moment he’s failing to realise that potential and has been placed on the sidelines by his tough taskmaster.

That has meant that Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard have recently been deployed as the United wingers.

Mata lacks the true pace needed to become a great Man Utd winger like a George Best, a Ryan Giggs or a Cristiano Ronaldo. Youngster Lingard is improving all the time but can the twenty-two year old change the biggest of games in United’s favour? That remains to be seen.

The fact that United’s management team have fielded pacey striker Anthony Martial out on the wing, shows that it’s an area that still concerns the United boss.

In the past week Louis van Gaal made it clear that he still thinks the wide positions need more reinforcements:

“I have said already in my first year many times we need speed and creativity on the wings.”

“So first we must first finish that problem and then we can see how we have to play and how we are in balance with playing with speedy wingers.”

Two players have really caught the eye in the Premier League with their outstanding performances and could be the answer to Van Gaal’s pacey wing problems; Southampton’s Sadio Mane and Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez.

We already know Mane has caught the eye of United scouts, with a Man Utd bid of around £15m rejected late on during the summer transfer window. It’s believe that they would have to bid closer to the £30m mark to stand any chance of prising him away this January.

The attacker enjoyed great success with the Saints last term and has continued to find great form during this campaign. He as scored three times so far after eleven Premier League starts and has also produced four assists.

Although he’s been mainly used as a number ten by Ronald Koeman, the Senegalese international can operate on either wing. He likes the ball at his feet and run and take on defenders. Also confident and draws in a lot of fouls. Lacks discipline at times and that may worry Van Gaal.

Mahrez has been a superstar for the Foxes this year and has helped propel them into the top four at the moment. The Algerian has helped his teams cause with an astonishing seven league goals and five assists.

Playing with a real swagger at the moment and with confidence that will have impressed someone like Van Gaal.

Another wide-man who can play on either flank but has been starring out on the right-handside this term and that could be useful if Lingard continues to improve on the left or Depay can comeback stronger in the second half of the season.

Has that searing pace that Man Utd have often lacked under Louis’ tenure, has a great cross on him and also likes to take on  opponents with a dribble or ten!

Manchester United are often a side that takes a chance with players from the English league and I can’t see why they wouldn’t take a punt on either of these two gems.

Obviously if United choose to bid for either of these two stars then they will come with a hefty price tag but Man United are a team that can afford to pay a big fee, especially on talent that could make them serious title contenders!

Out of the two which one would I go for?

Well Riyad Mahrez has been simply outstanding this season, seems to be improving and is the younger of the two.

But in all honesty I think either would improve the current squad at Old Trafford but wont be easy to get as neither Southampton or Leicester will be in a hurry to sell!

Could Sirigu Be The Answer To Liverpool’s Goalkeeping Problems?


According to reports in Spain, Liverpool are on the verge of making an offer for Barcelona’s goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

I doubt Barca will want to sell the player, who they believe can be a world-class goalkeeper in a few seasons time. I believe the German was bought as a long-term project and that view remains the same at the Camp Nou.

But I’m not overly surprised to hear that new Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp might be in a rush to bring in a new keeper to add stiff competition to current number one Simon Mignolet.

The Belgian goalkeeper has shown flashes to sublime goalkeeping especially with his shot-stopping at Anfield but his Liverpool career has also been blighted with mistakes and he lacks confidence when commanding his own penalty area.

Those negatives in Mignolet’s game often hampers his defenders as they seem to lack confidence in his all round ability.

Now maybe Klopp and Liverpool’s transfer committee could look at Ligue 1 and French champions PSG for their new keeper.

Salvatore Sirigu has won three Ligue 1 titles in a row with Les Rouge-et-Bleu and is the main back-up for Gianluigi Buffon in the Azzurri national squad.

Since joining the Parisian side in 2011, Sirigu has made minimal mistakes and has often received great praise for his work in between the sticks. In 2013, he managed to beat Bernard Lama’s clean-sheet PSG/Ligue 1 record and has become a firm fans favourite at the Parc des Princes.

But alas the twenty-eight year old has now lost his place to newcomer Kevin Trapp.

Trapp, like ter Stegen, is viewed as a player who has vast potential. At PSG you can afford to give a goalie time to settle as the squad are usually good enough to score more than the opposition.

To be fair to Kevin Trapp he has kept a fair number of clean-sheets this term. He kept a clean-sheet and also gave a man of the match performance in his sides 0-0 draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League. Another highlight for the German was his penalty save in PSG’s win in the Le Classique against Marseille.

But he had a horror show against Bordeaux in the league, that included scoring and own goal. In the return game against Real at the Bernabeu it was Trapp’s error that gifted the Spanish giants a 1-0 victory.

But even after those disappointing performances Trapp has remained Laurent Blanc’s number one. Many have question why a fine keeper in Sirigu has suddenly become just a back-up in Paris.

It looks like Blanc just doesn’t fancy Sirigu. Given the Italian hasn’t made many memorable mistakes during his time in France, in his only appearance in the league this season he kept a clean-sheet in an away win at Bastia.

You get the feeling that the two just might not get along.

Whatever the reason, Salvatore is close to his prime and cannot afford to let Blanc’s decision hamper his own career.

Euro 2016 is just around the corner and although Sirigu has remained in Antonio Conte’s recent Italian squads, he knows playing regular first team football would almost certainly cement his place in the pool that goes to France.

His shot-stopping, along with his concentration levels should make him a target for Liverpool. Chances are that you won’t get many top quality keepers currently playing understudy at their current clubs.

You’d have to imagine that Blanc won’t be difficult to deal with, if he doesn’t fancy the player. Supposedly PSG were willing to accept around €10m for the player last summer. If that is indeed the fee then he’d be a steal, in my opinion.

I have said for a year or so, that Liverpool needed a new goalkeeper and I think if they can sign Salvatore Sirigu this January then they’ll be a bug step closer to gaining a top four finish!

Could Striker Michy Batshuayi Fire Arsenal Towards Premier League Title?


Arsenal came up short against Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby yesterday and that meant they couldn’t take full advantage of Manchester City’s earlier slip up.

So the two top sides are still level on points with only City’s better goal difference separating them.

The Gunners were left frustrated in front of goal as Oliver Giroud missed a host of decent chances.

After the game Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said:

‘Giroud had the chances to score. He is very angry.’

Now I am a huge fan of Giroud and he’s been in great form lately, scoring five goals in his last six games for his club.

But at the moment he’s carrying most of the goalscoring responsibilities. Theo Walcott was the Gunners main alternative  central forward but has missed the last few games due to a muscular injury. While Danny Welbeck has been on the sidelines all season due to injury.

Costa Rican attacker Joel Campbell started the game against Spurs but was deployed on the wing.

That means when Giroud has one of his lulls in front of goal, and it happens, Arsenal have no options to change things up top.

So basically Arsenal are short of forwards, we all predicted this would happen after Wenger failed to purchase another striker during the summer transfer window.

Now the fact is that Arsenal have kept up with City (who have had their own striking problems) but that might not be the case if Arsene Wenger cannot bring in another talented goalscorer this January.

Now top targets such as Alexandre Lacazette, Gonzalo Higuain and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are probably going to see out the season at their current employers and would cost an absolute fortune at this time of the year.

So Wenger might have to be a bit more creative and look at his favourite market; Ligue 1.

Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi could fit the bill.

The twenty two year old forward currently has eight Ligue 1 goals in his thirteen league appearances. He also scored in his international debut with Belgium earlier this year.

Michy is a powerful, athletic forward. He’s also quick and has a good movement that can get him away from defenders. The Belgian is also confident in front of goal, has quick feet and can keep his cool when bearing down on goal.

Now the youngster isn’t the finished article just yet but he could inject a bit of optimism and competition within Arsenal’s font-line. Wenger wasn’t quick enough to sign up Anthony Martial in the summer and could be ready to try and lure Batshuayi as soon as possible and hope that the forward can have a similar impact at the Emirates as Martial has had at Man United.

I’d imagine that Michy Batshuayi would jump at the chance to join a big English Premier League club and force is way into the Belgian national teams Euro 2o16 squad.

Olympique Marseille are struggling in thirteenth place in the Ligue 1 table at the moment. Arsenal could tempt them into selling this winter if they table a bid in the region of £15m.

This next transfer window could be an extremely important one for Wenger and his Arsenal side. They have preformed admirably well this term but there can be no doubt that at times they’ve looked short of personnel at times. Surely that has to be rectified in January.

But who will the Gunner boss get? That’s the multi-million transfer fee question!

It Could Be Time For Celtic To Say Cheerio To Ronny Deila

17 Sound of Celtic
The ‘Ronny Roar’ has turned into a whimper in Europe this season. In fact Celtic have gone back two steps from last season when it seemed as though Ronny Deila had started to get his tactics right on the continent.

This season a lot of the players seem to have lost heart and desire to reach the games highest levels. Defensively the Hoops have often crumbled at set-pieces and look fragile to counter attacks. Concentration levels have also been at an all time low.

The Celtic boss doesn’t have any answers to the growing list of problems and he and his management team look visibly out of their depth.

Celtic Park used to be a fortress for the Glasgow side in Europe. But this term they’ve failed to win in their last two home games and lost 2-1 to Molde last night. In the game against the Norwegian’s the Hoops once again lacked organisation.

At the start of this campaign, assistant manager John Collins stated his club weren’t helped by their domestic rivals describing them as ‘slow’ and not smart enough. Unfortunately for Collins those are the same things that are now being used to describe Celtic’s European performances.

Now Deila has been let down by a tight board who constantly waits last minute before making any signings. Those signings are often from the bargain bucket. The once famed Celtic scouting system is also losing a bit of it’s shine as they pick up one too many duds.

But really a club like Celtic should still have enough about them to put sides like Malmo and Molde to the sword.

So that leads me back to the manager and whether or not the time is right to get rid of him.

Now if I were Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell I’d be seriously thinking about offloading Ronny at the end of the season and plan for that departure now by drawing up a list of candidates I wanted to sound out.

Then come January I would start to approach two or three potential new gaffers and have your chosen man in place for the day after Deila leaves in May.

On who to go for?

Well Paul Lambert’s name will obviously be mentioned as he was a successful former captain. But did he do enough at Villa to convince the Celtic fanbase he’s right for the big job? Another former hero Henrik Larsson could be in the mix again.

Could they go back and try and persuade experienced Dutch manager Guus Hiddink to finally come to Celtic Park. He may be sixty-eight now but you can bring him in for two seasons and turn things around in Europe and then hand the job on to a young coach who can take things on. But beware the Netherlands had that plan and it failed spectacularly last year.

To be honest the Celtic board need to concentrate on doing their own jobs properly before bringing in a new boss. It’s clear the current business model isn’t helping the team on the park. If the standard of football continues to go down then some fans will just stop turning up at home games, especially if they think their voice isn’t being heard in the boardroom.

It’s almost as if Celtic have been waiting for Rangers to get back into Scotland’s top flight and by doing that their own club have suffered on the field and the fans have been short changed. The last few seasons should have been about Celtic improving in Europe and becoming a constant fixture in the Champions League group stages.

I think Ronny Deila’s time is up. His management style and his personality doesn’t sit well with the majority of the fans. His European results have gone backwards and when a decline like that sets in then you really should look at binning your manager.

But it can’t end there, the board need to realise that they to have made big mistakes and owe it to the supporters to start making big decisions earlier and get those decisions right!